Use Keywords From The Job Description
Many employers use resume-filtering software that scans for keywords and evaluates how closely resumes and cover letters match the preferred skills and experience. That means your cover letter should incorporate key phrases you’ve identified in the job description if they honestly match with your background and strengths.
During the writing process, carefully review the job ad for the type of degree required, the number of years’ experience needed, and desired software skills, organization and communication abilities, and project management background.
Cover Letter Writing Tips
Once youve identified positions to apply for, its time to prepare your application materials. You should include a cover letter each time you submit your résumé for a position. The cover letter is your opportunity to highlight your skills and qualifications and to explain why those experiences make you a good candidate for the job. Do not just reiterate your résumé. Instead, focus on several key areas and go into detail including what you did and what you learned.
- Always tailor your cover letter to the specific organization and job for which you are applying. Research the organization and include sentences that correspond to the job duties or qualifications from the job description. Employers will know if your cover letter is generic and mass produced.
- When submitting a résumé by email, consider the body of your email as the cover letter. Include your contact information in your email signature.
- When submitting your application by web upload or mail, the cover letter should be typed in the same font as your résumé in business letter format. The heading of your cover letter should match the heading of your résumé. The letter should be 3 or 4 paragraphs and should not exceed one page in length.
Remember, the cover letter is a sample of your writing ability. Employers will assume that the quality of your letter is indicative of the quality of your work. Proofread and spell check carefully!
Be Open To Other Formats
If youre applying to a more traditional company, then the tried-and-true three-to-five-paragraph format probably makes sense. However, if youre gunning for a more creative or startup jobor need to explain to the hiring manager, say, how your career has taken you from teaching to business developmenta different approach could be appropriate.
Here at The Muse, weve seen cover letters use bullet points, tell stories, or showcase videos to get their point across. One woman wrote a cover letter from her dogs perspective. This professional even turned hers into a BuzzFeed-style list!
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Craft A Killer Opening Line
No need to lead with your namethe hiring manager can see it already on your resume. Its good to mention the job youre applying for , and yes, you could go with something simple like, I am excited to apply for with . But consider introducing yourself with a snappy first sentence that highlights your excitement about the company youre applying to, your passion for the work you do, or your past accomplishments.
What The Best Cover Letters Do Well
Your cover letter should be well-written and provide some sense of your personality and professionalism. It should also be targeted to the position for which you are applying. Don’t send a generic letter when you apply for jobs. Most employers get many applications for every open job, and your cover letter and resume need to show that you’ve taken the time to write compelling application material that shows your interest in working for the company in this role.
Make clear and persuasive connections between your experiences and the skills required to excel in the job, using the skills listed in the job announcements Preferred Qualifications section as your guide. Taking the time to match your qualifications to the company’s job requirements will show the employer you’re a strong match for the job.
Your cover letter is one of the first things the hiring manager will see , so make sure that it grabs the readers attention and entices them to give your resume a serious review.
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Career Change Cover Letter Example
Writing a cover letter for a job in your current industry is pretty straightforward. But writing a career change cover letter requires some finesse.
The sample cover letter below includes the three elements you need to persuade a hiring manager youre ready to transfer industries, such as:
Write An Opening Paragraph
In the first paragraph of your letter, mention the job title for which youre applying and where you saw the position posting. Explain your specific interest in the role and company so the reader knows youve done your research and have genuine interest. Briefly state the main experience or qualification you have that makes you a good fit. The first section of your cover letter is also the first impression the reader will have of you, so it is important to appeal to that person quickly and succinctly.
Example:I’m excited to apply for the Graphic Designer position at Cloud Clearwater I found on Indeed. I understand you’re currently adding several new product lines, and I believe my skills in video and animation provide a significant advantage for creating a successful launch. As a longtime fan of your products, I’m thrilled at the opportunity to bring my unique style and passion for beachwear to the company.
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Write In The Companys Voice
Cover letters are a great way to show that you understand the environment and culture of the company and industry. Spending some time reading over the company website or stalking their social media before you get started can be a great way to get in the right mindsetyoull get a sense for the companys tone, language, and culture, which are all things youll want to mirror as youre writing.
How Long Should My Cover Letter Be
Your cover letter should be no longer than a single A4 page. This can be tricky, especially since you want to impress the employer with all your skills and experience. But trust us they simply wont be interested in reading a 3,000-word essay. Even if they were, they probably just wouldnt have the time! Keep it short, sweet, and simple.
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Hot Tip: Don’t Use One Generic Cover Letter For All Your Applications
Once you have taken the time to write your first cover letter, it might be tempting to recycle its use for all future job applications – don’t do it!
While you might save time in the short term, having a tailored cover letter vs a generic one might be the difference between getting your dream job or losing it because of your oversight.
Getting The Basics Right
If you were meeting a potential boss for the first time, chances are you’d take extra care with your appearance. If you pay the same attention to your cover letter, that meeting will more likely take place! So, check and double check the following areas:
- Spelling and grammar: these mistakes are easily avoidable. A cover letter with spelling mistakes or missing words looks careless and unprofessional. Use a dictionary! Ask someone else to read your letter, too, as a “fresh pair of eyes” can pick up errors that you’ve missed. Reading it aloud can also help to ensure that the letter “flows.”
- Consistency: for example, if you capitalize one job title say, Marketing Executive capitalize all the others, too. Our article, Encouraging Attention to Detail , has strategies for maintaining high standards of work.
- Confidence: avoid saying that you “believe” or “feel” that you are the right person for the job. Have the courage of your convictions and say that you know you are right for it.
- Jargon and clichés: use the correct technical terms where appropriate, but bear in mind that the first person to read your letter may be an HR manager, rather than the team leader or other expert. Also, jargon and acronyms can mean different things in different teams or businesses, so they could cause confusion. Similarly, avoid meaningless, over-used phrases such as “people person” or “thinking outside the box.”
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Newsflash: A Cover Letter Is Not A Repeat Of A Resume These Examples Show You How It’s Done
A great cover letter will show that you’re the right candidate.
If you’re wondering how to write a cover letter, you’re in the right place! Monster’s library of cover letter examples can help you do exactly that.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or level you’re at in your careerto get noticed by potential employers, your professional cover letter needs to knock their socks off. Writing a good cover letter is about much more than friendly greeting it’s a tool that lets hiring managers know that you’re the candidate they’ve been hoping for.
Because recruiters and hiring managers have seen every type of cover letter format imaginable, for maximum wow-factor, you must build a cover letter that highlights your industry-specific experience, accomplishments, and credentials.
Proofread Before You Submit
Reread your cover letter several times before submitting it and keep an eye out for errors of spelling, grammar or punctuation. Reading the letter aloud can help you pick out awkward phrasing or too-long sentences. There are certain common errors that we all tend to gloss over, so make sure to do a slow, deliberate reading that examines each word. If your salutation includes the hiring managers name, triple-check the spelling.
For jobs that require submitting a cover letter, remember that youre getting a valuable chance to illustrate your capabilities and share a glimpse of your authentic personality. Take advantage of the opportunity to let your greatest strengths shine, while also showing that you respect the hiring managers time and attention. For inspiration, you can browse cover letter samples by job title on Indeed.
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The Importance Of A Good Cover Letter
One of the key issues in job application writing is that there is the expectation of a good cover letter or letter of introduction. The question of a cover letter came up recently with one Select Resumes client who wanted to know if why they should write a cover letter when applying for a position. A well-crafted cover letter is generally vital in applying for any job, unless the application requirements specifically state they do not want a cover letter and just the Resume, but this rarely happens.
Many people write cover letters as though they are a pared-down version of their resume. But all this really achieves is taking the wow-factor out of your actual resume, as the highlights will already have been stated. When youre faced with a blank sheet of paper, the inclination is to sell, sell, sell. And whilst the whole point actually is to sing your skills, do so in a way that enhances, not mimics.
Instead, use your cover letter to show your personality, and your passion for the field you are applying to work in. Think of it as a virtual handshake. The cover letter is necessary as an outline for employers to get a good enough idea as to who you are. It should make them want to turn the page and read your resume and call you for an interview. That wont happen if youve given them all the most important points without having to read your resume.
The advantages of a good cover letter are:
Finish With A Closing Paragraph
The next paragraph should focus on another key achievement or skill that is relevant to the position. Instead of repeating details from your resume, expand on specific stories or anecdotes that display your fitness for the role. Again, focus on stories that demonstrate the skills and qualifications outlined in the job description.
If youre changing careers, this is a good opportunity to talk about transferable skills or relatable experiences from your career.
Example:Achieving ambitious marketing goals is always a top priority, and I am always looking out for the best interests of the company. I enjoy delivering marketing presentations to potential clients and focusing on the strengths of an organization. My marketing skills at River Tech enabled the company to experience new levels of success and a 45% increase in customer engagement. I am never satisfied with the status quo, and I believe that a company should continually look for ways to improve and reach new clients through innovative campaigns.
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Writing A Compelling Cover Letter
Chances are, you’re not the only person who sees the role as a dream opportunity. It may have attracted numerous applications. That means the hiring manager has to sift through a lot of cover letters, so they will want to see at a glance what you have to offer.
Brevity is key. As writer and editor Lily Herman instructs, “Keep it short . Your cover letter should be a single page and around 300-350 words.”
, for guidance on getting your message across clearly and concisely.
Consider the following structure as a guide for your letter:
Summarize And Request A Follow
Finally, round up what you’ve written, and indicate your availability for interview. A strong closing paragraph could be, “I’ve always delivered outstanding results, and I’ve enjoyed every challenge that has come my way. I’d be delighted to meet with you and discuss the value that I can add to your team.”
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Why Write A Cover Letter
The principle of a successful cover letter is simple: it needs to be sufficiently interesting to an employer to leave them feeling compelled to find out more about your skills and experience by reading your resume, before deciding to call you in for an interview. But not all candidates will make the effort to write a tailored and personalised cover letter.
Explain Why You Are The Best Candidate
Next, describe what you can bring to the role. Give examples of skills that you’ve developed or successes that you’ve enjoyed that are relevant to the job description.
Be specific, and quantify your achievements wherever possible. If you’ve exceeded your sales targets, for example, give a percentage or monetary figure. Tell the truth, and don’t be tempted to exaggerate or embellish your accomplishments it’s unethical, and will backfire if you are caught out.
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Tailor Your Cover Letter To A Specific Job
Dont use a one-size-fits-all cover letter template for all the positions you apply for. If you do, youre missing the point: Only a letter thats targeted to the job at hand will make a positive impression.
Write a cover letter employers can’t ignore by tying it to the elements of the job that match your unique skills and experience. What are they asking for that youre especially good at? What would make your contribution unique? Those are the points to stress when writing a cover letter.
Just as important, gather facts and figures that support your claims. For example, if you’re applying for a managerial role, mention the size of teams and budgets youve managed. If its a sales role, describe specific sales goals you’ve achieved.
In addition to highlighting your talents, you can further personalize your cover letter by demonstrating your familiarity with the specific industry, employer and type of position.
Find Your Perfect Job
- Replace abbreviations with the entire word
As you arent responding to a job ad, you should use your opening paragraph to explain why youre writing to them and what it was that drew you to their company. If the reason for your application is a recommendation from someone, you know that already works there include their name.
You should also refer to the area of the company that youd like to go into, for example, marketing or sales.
The body of the letter should remain relatively the same, highlighting your skills and experiences and giving detailed examples. Reiterate why youre interested in their company specifically, talk about the sector and show that youve done your research.
In this instance, you should close the letter by thanking them for their time and expressing your interest in hearing from them with any available job vacancies that they may have.
Remember, each cover letter should be unique , and the aim is to make yourself stand out to recruiters. Follow these steps to writing your cover letter, and try to have fun with it!
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Common Mistakes Made When Writing A Cover Letter
Lastly, here is a list of things that you should take into consideration when learning how to write a cover letter: